We are suffering yet another blow this year in our beautiful state, working on recovering from the Waldo Canyon Fire last year, the Black Forest Fire this year, the Theater Shootings, and before that Columbine… we come back.. and we fight and we band together. This is just what we do here… Is it in the water? The desire to help, to pitch in, to do what it takes? I don’t know.
SOCIAL MEDIA MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE DURING FLOODS
Social media has been a huge part in all of the recent disasters with my good friend Misty Montano at 9News leading the charge giving classes and pushing people into the Twitter/Vine/Instagram/Facebook world and teaching them to use it for good.. That’s how we met.. on Twitter… Now all the news channels are on board as well as most of the OEM’s, Sheriff’s, Humane Societies, it’s flowing so nicely. Is there confusion? Yes of course and mis-information.. yes.. but we all pull together and try our best.. How is this different from what other people have experienced? I didn’t really know until I met Harper Mumi on Facebook. That’s not her real name because she wants to stay anonymous. She showed up on a Flood Disaster Lost & Found Pets page I created to help get the fur babies back to their humans. As we chatted she shared how different it had been for her during Hurricane Irene.. she was scared, alone, knew the flood was coming but could find no one online or anywhere to ask questions, get help or tell WHERE exactly SAFE was… She wrote this essay (though she wouldn’t call it that) and with her permission I’m happy to share it here.
#COFlood has brought out ‘internet warriors’. These are the guys that are saving the day- Coordinating efforts. They’re not waiting- they just create an FB page and run with it. People help. They follow the same self-organization principle that Nature does, in my opinion. It’s great- Social media saved the day. If it weren’t for FB, many, many people right now would be in soul searing utter chaos. I’m SO proud to contribute my time to this effort, tiny as it is, for an online but not internet savvy girl. Right now, THE WHOLE WORLD is watching, knows about it, feels for them- is trying to help. From South Africa to Brazil to Vermont. We’re Watching, and helping where we can. It’s 2013 America and the Internet exists and people are online~ period. No quibbles. Social media is the Driving Force behind this ENTIRE Relief Effort. I truly believe that FB is changing the world- and tho I generally eschew the pop-culture bandwagon, I see clearly that it has been an invaluable tool for the entire communities and the state. I couldn’t get ONE official or local person who knew anything about anything during Hurricane Irene and our Vermont flood, and no one was online at all: not ONE PERSON here in the Mad River Valley. I’m thinking that the difference these FB pages made in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who were shocked out of their gourds~ watching their lawns turn into massive, roiling rivers with toolsheds and trees washing by, Scared Sh*tless and not knowing where to go or what to do as walls of water come towards them from either side and the culvert breaks underneath one as if they’re in a film, It’s VERY life shatteringly frightening. And it changes one FOREVER. It’s true large scale devastation, but this time~ People KNOW about it and everyone’s HELPING. No one is Alone, if they don’t want to be. Comfort in Numbers. This Relief effort took off before the waters even receded and crews have been on the ground and helping people ever since, They coordinate online- find each other- know what to do, where to go- where to get help. This is one time I think we have to look to FB as a lifesaver, and the internet in general. To NOT have had an online response would have left these people in the dust. We Waited, here in Vermont. The town Waited. No storming of the razed Castle walls of hoards of Volunteers and spectators and participants. It was “The Perpetual time sucking Waitingness Continuum”. It was bad, here. And the worst of it? No one knew. The world was still spinning and yet everything had changed, in one gobsmackingly terrestrial celestial millennial moment. Colorado didn’t wait for anyone to tell them what to do. They Vini’d Vidi’d Vici’d – AND I LOVE THEIR RESULTS. Rescues are happening, people are already cleaning up beside and for and with other people. And it’s still only the very next day in most communities. The flooding doesn’t just disappear it slithers up the River like a snake, leaving NOTHING even approaching Normalcy in it’s wake. Wow~ What a difference. Their resources, their funds… I’m thrilled that volunteers are lining up in droves. In Vermont, one can’t even get their wall fixed from Irene. They might still have a collapsed well and not the basic necessity of enough running water. Coloradans are enjoying A HUGE GROUNDSWELL OF donations and volunteers. People are SHOWING UP TO HELP. They C’est Arrive themselves to the front lines and hold the hands of those who need it. They’re bringing GOODS, and SERVICES, and MONEY. People are giving away things for free- like drywall. Free! And a volunteer will deliver it, and probably fix that wall- insulation included -and figure out how to get enough running water because one is a Goddamned Mess of a person because you just experienced your life get swallowed and spit out by the Behemoth Satanic Jauggernaut named Hurricane Irene, and that it appeared that no one was alive left anywhere in the world, including one’s very own state, and that NO ONE in the world even KNEW that a Flood of such Amazingly Biblical proportions had Decimated Lives, Land, Livelihoods… Mother Nature swept away souls with the rushing, vying, clashing waters, into the dust bin. Souls that have not yet been retrieved in toto. These guys, the Coloradans, are just popping up all over the place, online, in real life, in the State, on the ground. They’re helping EVERYONE, regardless of their circumstance, status, how long they’ve lived there, their political and life views. They’re filling the Voids of Desperation, of Insanity. There are Real Live People in Colorado- everywhere where one looks: Helping, staying with one person, one at a time, reaching out to other volunteers and solving problems together ~ ’Til it’s DONE. No one, Anywhere in Colorado, is going to wind up living like they’re in the third world, without the things Americans have and make sure their neighbors have. That is not a shout out to our society, just an observation of the facts. They’re pulling together and Everyone gets fixed- FULLY. It’s the Real World~ made possible only because of the Internet. They’re pooling resources and using their strengths, letting people do what they’re good at, and someone else does the other thing that they’re good at, and everything gets DONE. ~ Volunteers are reading about a NEED online and then they OFFER to fill it. It blows my Mind. Well done, Colorado. I’m duly Impressed. It’s all about the internet, too. Without FB and others, NONE of this would be happening SO QUICKLY- before it even started, barely. Before Lives went down the Rabbit Hole never to find purchase on terra firma again. And having benefited from the kindness of strangers, they can resume their live, love their kids, cuddle with their animals, comfort one another, and MOVE PAST this Smite from the Heavens. It’s AMAZING. I’ll bet these guys don’t even have a leaky faucet and I’ll Damn Double Better bet that EVERYONE has enough running water in their homes when those Volunteers are done. These guys are actually living in America- and they’re ONLINE! Long Live those individuals who logged on to FB and made a difference. Hail the Internet. Just plain ol’, Well Done.
WOW… I sure like that term “Internet WARRIORS”… that is what it’s like battling time, conditions and circumstances during a disaster or emergency like the one’s we’ve been enduring.. but we will survive and get stronger… Below is a list of resources for flood victims… you may have seen them before or they may be new.. There are lots of grassroots “organizations” that didn’t wait to be told what to do.. they just started “DOING!” Hashtags to follow on Twitter and other social media: #waldoflood #cofloods #boulderflood #LongmontFlood #COPets #CoFloodRelief #COWx #ColoradoStrong
Help Colorado Now is the clearing house for anyone who has questions, wants to volunteer or donate.. look here first.
HOW TO HELP THOSE AFFECTED BY FLOODING IN COLORADO
FINANCIAL GIFTS ARE THE BEST WAY TO HELP!
- FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO VOLUNTARY AGENCIES RESPONDING TO DISASTERS IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO HELP – learn why
- To make a financial gift to the organization of your choice, CLICK HERE for a list of reputable agencies responding to disasters
- Cash allows disaster agencies to purchase exactly what is needed
- Member agencies of Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster do not promote one charity over another. Please donate to a charity of your choice.
- You can enter your information HERE, and if a volunteer need is identified, you will be contacted by the
- STAY SAFE by volunteering with a reputable agency!
- Volunteers will be needed most during the long-term recovery phase, which will last month/years. Please know, volunteers are still needed for flood risk mitigation for 2012 and 2013 disasters
- For Boulder County Emergency Status updates, click here
- For Larimer County Emergency Status updates, click here
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
- Hold a yard sale or put on a fund-raising event and donate money raised to a voluntary organization responding to this disaster
- Have you already collected goods but can’t find an agency that needs them? Donate items to a local charitable agency
COLORADO FLOOD RELIEF RESOURCES & GROUPS
Animal Evacuation Locations:
Emergency information portals
- Boulder County
- Jefferson County
Donation Collection Sites
- Boulder County
- Jefferson County
- Larimer County
- Arapahoe County
Other emergency resources to follow: On Twitter:
- @BoulderOEM [Boulder Office of Emergency Management]
- @BoulderCounty [Boulder Local Government]
- @ColoradoDOT, BoulderOEM Road Closure Update
For Current Emergency Information/Emergency Status
For Evacuation Center Info:, http://boulderoem.org/emergency-status
For National Weather Service Alerts: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/
For Boulder County First Responder Live Audio Feeds/Police Scanners Emergency Facebook Pages